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Voting Guide

The 2020 Presidential election will be held on Tuesday, November 3rd. If you are voting locally, there are also races for the Senate, House, Richmond Mayor, Richmond City Council and School Board. You can find candidate guides and resources at the student-run website RVAGOV.

The Bonner Center for Civic Engagement strongly encourages early voting, whether in-person or absentee. Given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the best way to ensure that you vote this year. Whether you've already registered or not, it is important to make a plan now about how you will vote.

What is your plan to vote this year?

Important Dates

Voter Registration Deadline: Deadline has been extended to October 15th

Early In-Person Voting: September 18th - October 31st

Absentee Ballot Application Deadline: Richmond City's Registrar's Office must receive the application by 5pm on Friday, October 23rd

Election Day: Tuesday, November 3rd

 

Debate Schedule

First Presidential Debate: Tuesday, September 29th

Vice Presidential Debate: Wednesday, October 7th

Second Presidential Debate: Thursday, October 15th

Third Presidential Debate: Thursday, October 22nd

Register to Vote or Update Your Registration
When is the deadline to register to vote in Virginia?

Register to vote in Virginia before the extended deadline of Thursday, October 15th.

How to Register to Vote in Virginia

You can pick up a paper registration form at the CCE (Tyler Haynes Commons 201) or at Boatwright Library. You can also download a copy of the form here. You can drop off a completed registration form in the CCE's Voter Registration drop box in Boatwright Library by the 1PM deadline on October 15th. A CCE staff member will deliver the forms to the registrar's by the deadline.

On your registration form, your residential address in section 2 must be your dorm address, not your mailbox nor the University's address. Put your mailing address in section 4 of the form. You can find a list of the on-campus residential addresses here

It is also important to include your contact information, such as email or phone number so that the Registrar's Office can contact you if there is an issue with processing your registration. 

If you are currently registered to vote in another state, write in your state in section 5 of the form. 

You can return your signed and completed registration form to the dropbox in Boatwright Library. A CCE Staff member will deliver the voter registration forms to Richmond City's and Henrico's Registrar's Offices.  

Online Voter Registration in Virginia

If you have a Virginia driver's license or identification card, you can register to vote online and submit the form electronically.

If you do not have a Virginia driver's license or ID card, you will be prompted to print your completed application, sign it, and mail it in.

Complete your application before the deadline, and look for your voter registration card in the mail (it serves as a form of voter ID).

Registering to Vote in Your Home State

You can check your voter registration status here

Use StudentVote.org to register in any state.

How can I check my voter registration status?

Check your voter registration status at the Virginia Department of Elections website. 

Do I need to update my voter registration if I've moved dorms?

Yes, always update your registration if you have a new residential address. You can find a list of on-campus residential addresses here. Do not put the address of the University of Richmond or your registration will be denied.

How do I choose whether to vote in Virginia or my home state?

You can decide to vote in your home state or in Virginia, since you are a resident here and this is your primary home for your years as a UR student. The uncertainty of the pandemic may factor into your decision on where to vote. If you choose to vote in Virginia, it is recommended that you vote early in case you need to be put in isolation or are sent home. If you register to vote in Virginia but are sent home within 30 days of the election, you can still vote for President but may not be permitted to vote for any other offices on the ballot.
Early In-Person Voting Shuttle

Early In-Person Voting starts September 18th

You do not have to have a reason or fill out an application to vote early. You can go vote at your local registrar's office (see address below) from September 18 to October 31. A photo I.D. is not required to vote, however your student I.D. is an acceptable form of identification at the polls.

Given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, voting early is the best way to ensure that you vote this year. 

Shuttle to the Richmond City Early Voting Polling Place

Every Friday and Saturday, except Saturday October 17th, through October 31 a shuttle will take voters to the City of Richmond's early voting polling place. Bring your UR I.D. to board the shuttle. 

Shuttle Schedule (shuttle departs from Tyler Haynes Commons):

Departs from Campus (THC) Arrives at Registrar Departs Registrar for Campus
1:30 pm 1:50 pm 2:30 pm
2:10 pm 2:30 pm 3:10 pm
2:50 pm 3:10 pm 3:50 pm

               

Shuttle to Henrico County Early Voting Polling Place

On Saturday, October 24 a shuttle will take voters to Henrico County's early voting polling place. Bring your UR I.D. to board the shuttle. In order to determine the number of Henrico County voters taking the shuttle, please sign-up for a spot here

The shuttle schedule is the same as listed above for the City of Richmond shuttle. 

Where are the early voting polling places for Richmond City and Henrico County voters?

For Richmond City: 

     2134 West Laburnum Ave., 2nd Floor, Richmond, VA 23227


For Henrico County:

     4305 E. Parham Rd. Admin Building Annex Room 105, Henrico, VA 23228

Absentee Voting in Virginia

Can I apply for an absentee ballot in Virginia?

In Virginia this year, all registered voters are eligible to vote by mail without providing a justification. 

Absentee ballots should be requested as far in advance as possible to allow time for the local elections office to mail the ballot to the voter and for the voter to complete and return the ballot. 

How do I apply to vote absentee in Virginia?

5pm on Friday, October 23rd is the last date that the registrar's office will receive applications for an absentee ballot via online, fax or mail.

By Mail:

Online:

  • To apply online you must have a Virginia Driver's License. You can apply to 'Vote By Mail' at this website

How do I submit my absentee ballot?

Fill in your ballot and return to your local registrar though these methods:

  • Mail your ballot at the post office. Check the campus Post Office hours here. It must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your registrar by noon on the third day after the election (Friday, November 6).
  • Return your ballot to your local registrar by 7:00 PM on Election Day, November 3, 2020. 

Where is the Registrar's Office?

For Richmond City: 

     Starting September 14th: 900 E Broad St., Room 105, Richmond, VA 23219

     Before September 14th: 2134 West Laburnum Ave., 2nd Floor, Richmond, VA 23227

For Henrico County:

     Nearest to Campus: 4305 E. Parham Rd. Admin Building Annex Room 105, Henrico, VA 23228

     Further from Campus: 3820 Nine Mile Rd. Room 100, Henrico, VA 23223

Voting on Election Day

Where do I vote on Election Day?

If your residence is on campus, then your polling place is the Jepson Alumni Center at 442 Westhampton Way. 

If you live in University Forest Apartmerns 170 A-H UR Drive and Gateway Village Apartments, your polling place is Tuckahoe Elementary School in Henrico County.

Your polling place is listed on your voter registration card. If you need more information about your polling place, click here to find your polling place.

You can also contact the City of Richmond Registrar’s Office at 804-646-7000, or online to find your polling place.

What are my polling place hours?

Polling places open at 6 a.m. on Election Day. All voters in line by 7 p.m. are allowed to vote.

Is there a shuttle to the Henrico County polling place?

An Election Day shuttle will be provided for Henrico County residents whose polling location is Tuckahoe Elementary School. If you live in University Forest Apartmerns 170 A-H UR Drive and Gateway Village Apartments your polling place is Tuckahoe Elementary School in Henrico County.

The Henrico County Election Day Shuttle will leave from Tyler Haynes Commons at these times: 1:30, 2:00, 2:30. 3:00, and 3:30 p.m.

Do I need to show my identification to vote?

In Virginia, in-person voters must show an acceptable type of ID at the polls or they will have to vote a provisional ballot and produce acceptable ID later. 

Acceptable forms of ID include any one of the following:

  • Student ID issued from an institution of higher learning in the state of Virginia (either public or private);
  • Voter registration card;
  • Valid Virginia driver’s license;
  • Social Security card;
  • Identification cards issued by the US military, employer, or federal, Virginia, or local agency;
  • Concealed handgun permit; or
  • Copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter.

What COVID-19 guidelines should I be aware of?

The Virginia Department of Elections encourages voters to consider alternative options for voting in the November 2020 elections. In general, the more closely people interact with each other and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The best way to avoid becoming infected is to avoid being exposed to the virus altogether. This is particularly important for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. There are many options for voting this year that can reduce your interaction with other people, including absentee or early voting. Consider these reccomendations when you are making a plan to vote this year. More recommendations about safer voting can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

 

ID Requirements and Student IDs

In Virginia, a new law was recently passed that repeals the requirement for a photo I.D. In lieu of a required form of identification, a signed statement is accepted.

A Student ID may be used to vote!

Acceptable forms of ID include any one of the following:

  • Any valid student identitification card issued by an institution of higher education located in any state or territory of the United States;
  • Voter registration confirmation documents;
  • Valid Virginia driver’s license (expiration date is not considered when determining validity of driver's license);
  • Valid U.S. Passport, or any other identification issued by the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivsions, or the United States;
  • Any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer's business;
  • Copy of current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter;

A voter who does not show one of the required forms of identification is required to sign a statement that they are the named registered voter they claim to be in order to be permitted to cast a ballot.

Resources for Student Voter Engagement
  • Campus Elect - Includes candidate and issue guides, voter education resources, a fellowship program, and more. 
  • All In Challenge - Resources for student voter engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual engagement. 
  • Campus Vote Project - Contains guides about voter registration drives, engagement activties for students, developing student engagement plans, state specific guides, etc.
  • Every Vote Counts - A student-led, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing voter turnout and expanding voter access nationwide.
  • Fair Elections Legal Network - Contains information and resources on removing barriers to registration and voting. 
  • Sample Ballot Lookup (Ballotopedia) - View the elections you will be voting in with this sample ballot lookup tool.
  • Virginia State Board of Elections
  • Vote.org - Countdown to the election, polling place locator, check registration, register, vote by mail, COVID-19 election info.
  • Vote Remote - How to vote as a college student.
  • TurboVote - Sign up for election reminders, get help with voter registration and voting by mail.
  • Issue Voter - Allows people to choose the issues they care about and sends you information about those issues. Makes it easier for you to contact your representatives.
  • Be A Voter - Voter checklist, guide to voting.
  • Nonprofit Vote - Voting information by state.
  • How to Vote - Election resources by state.
Absentee Voting Outside of Virginia

Registering to Vote in your home state:

You can use StudentVote.org to register to vote in any state. Remember to update your voter registration everytime you move, even if you are moving from one dorm to another.

Absentee Voting Deadlines

Use this website to check the important election deadlines in your state.

How do I choose whether to vote in Virginia or my home state?

You can decide to vote in your home state or in Virginia, since you are a resident here and this is your primary home for your years as a UR student. The uncertainty of the pandemic may factor into your decision on where to vote. If you choose to vote in Virginia, it is recommended that you vote early in case you need to be put in isolation or are sent home. If you register to vote in Virginia but are sent home within 30 days of the election, you can still vote for President but may not be permitted to vote for any other offices on the ballot. 

Emergency Absentee Voting

Do I qualify for an emergency absentee ballot? 

If you were unable to meet the "vote by mail" application deadline for any of the following reasons (Va. Code § 24.2-705):

  1. Your hospitalization or illness;
  2. The hospitalization, illness, or death of a spouse, child, or parent; or
  3. Other emergency found to justify receipt of an emergency absentee ballot

Requirements for emergency absentee voting:

  1. You may request to vote emergency absentee at any time prior to 2:00 pm on the day preceding the
    election
  2. If you are approved for an emergency ballot, your general registrar shall provide the absentee ballot to your designated representative for delivery to you
  3. You shall mark the ballot in the presence of your designated representative (all parties should be masked and maintain distancing)
  4. The ballot shall be counted only if the ballot is received by the general registrar prior to the close of polls

Determine eligibility and download application on the Virginia Department of Elections website.